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Is there a symbol or flag for Democracy or a Democratic Republic?

This would be something general, not for a political party or country (unless the country happened to adopt a general symbol).

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    I don't think there's any one symbol: thenounproject.com/search/?q=democracy (which makes sense, as there isn't any 'one' type of democracy) – user1530 Jun 4 '15 at 19:03
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    True, some political philosophies do latch on to very specific symbology. Democracy doesn't seem to have one. – user1530 Jun 5 '15 at 1:19
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    A comment explaining the downvotes would be helpful. – Paul Jun 8 '15 at 2:00
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    @JamesPoulson Well I should have been in a bad mood on that day. I don't see why I downvoted this question. However the vote is locked now until the question is edited, unfortunately. – Bregalad Feb 23 '16 at 7:46
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    It is ok. One downvote isn't a catastrophe. What I meant to say is that it's constructive to comment on the why as it will help the OP understand if the question is out of place or badly worded :) – James P. Feb 23 '16 at 21:53
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Regime types are abstractions. They don't have symbols, because they aren't "real" - just a convenient way for us to think about the kinds of political structures that may exist. So the easy answer to your question is, "no, there is no symbol for a democracy."

However, political groups may use symbols. If those political groups are advocating for a certain regime type there may be some symbols that in the public's mind come to be associated with that kind of regime. The symbol won't be broadly tied to the concept, but within a specific cultural context the two will be recognizably linked. One example is the red star. Due to its usage by Russian revolutionaries and subsequent adoption by the Soviet Union (as well as some other revolutionaries with somewhat similar ideals) it is tied to a very narrow notion of communism for a group of people in certain times and places.

Similarly, you can find some symbols which are tied to democracies or democratic republics. Examples:

  • A red, white, and blue flag. Wikipedia has a list, of which nearly all are democracies. The French Revolution linked the colors to the triparte motto ("liberty, equality, fraternity").
  • Protestors in Hong Kong have been using palm-sized paper umbrellas to represent democracy. See an example display here.
  • Within many democracies, their legislature (the building) is a poignant symbol of their system of government.

These are just a few easy examples. Note that all of them are bound to a certain cultural context. While the silhouette of the rotunda makes sense to me (as a contemporary American), it likely wouldn't mean anything to someone from another country.

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Often an image of the architectural building in which legislative deliberations take place is symbolic of democracy.

An image of a ballot box or ballot is also often sometimes used for this purpose.

Hands, or clasped hands are another common image.

But, as a Google image search of the term "democracy", reveals, there is really no single consensus image that captures the concept.

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I've seen stylised Greek ruins / pillars used for this purpose. Or to symbolise civic engagement in general - of which democracy is the most significant format inherited from the Greeks and Romans.

Most other representations on the internet tend to be due to the extent of American political artefacts. Although the USA has a rightful claim to the symbol of a republic since most countries outside of Europe that transitioned away from a monarchy opted for a republic-style democracy.

  • As far as I know, other than perhaps some indigenous North American tribal federations (pre-Columbus) - most forms of democracy as we understand the term trace their roots to Greece city states. – LateralFractal Aug 16 '17 at 8:25
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Many republics have a star as their symbol.

Communist governments often call themselves "Democratic Republics" or "People's Democratic Republics". These governments often have either a red star, or a white or yellow star on a red field, as their symbol. The Soviet Union's symbol was a yellow hammer crossed with a yellow sickle, on a red field.

It has often been noted that the more redundantly a government name claims to be popular, democratic, and republican, the less likely the government is to be any of those things.

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    So are you basically saying the USA isn't democratic or republican xD ? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States) – James P. Feb 21 '16 at 22:01
  • @JamesPoulson -- No. What words in the name USA claim to be popular, democratic, or republican, let alone redundantly so? The U.S. guarantees that each of its states will have a "republican form of government", but not a "people's democratic republic". – Jasper Feb 21 '16 at 22:32
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    USA is the country's name? Above you say the government name. Anyway, you probably understand why the comment was posted. There is some truth in what you say if we look at NK. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_North_Korea Your answer actually averted me from using democratic for the name of a new organization so thank you for that :) . Maybe we can say that if something is democratic it does not need to be said, along the same lines that something funny does not need to be qualified as such. – James P. Feb 21 '16 at 23:35
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    Hi there. Have looked further into the subject and this blog article says that United States is technically a democratic republic. – James P. Dec 26 '16 at 3:28
  • @JamesP. - "Democracy" and "republic" are not generally agreed upon terms in political theory. It isn't clear what the relationship between them is, if any. Quora is definitely not the kind of resource that is going to clear it up. There is plenty of high-quality scholarship that is more helpful. – indigochild Aug 15 '17 at 14:15

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